Two sisters embark on a road trip to seek out far-flung relatives and uncover the truth hidden behind the painted over lives of past family members.
Gaylen Syler-Boatwright flees her unraveling marriage to take refuge in a mountain cottage owned by her deceased aunt. Burdened with looking after her adult sister, Delia, she is shocked to find a trail of family secrets hidden within her aunts odd collection of framed, painted dresses. With Delia, who attracts trouble as a daily occupation, Gaylen embarks on a road trip that throws the unlikely pair together on a journey to painful understanding and delightful revelations.
Steeped in Hickmans trademark humor, her spare writing voice, and the bittersweet pathos of the South, Painted Dresses powerfully captures a womans desperate longing to uncover a hidden, broken life and discover the liberty of living authentically, even when the things exposed are shrouded in shame.
PATRICIA HICKMAN is an award-winner, speaker and humorist who has won two Silver Angel Awards for Excellence in Media as well as a Romantic Times Readers Choice Gold Award for her novel Katrinas Wings. Patricia holds a masters degree in creative writing from Queens University and enjoys biking, hiking, and mapping out the Southern towns where her novels are set.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Hickman's slow-paced but best novel since Katrina's Wings begins with protagonist Gaylen Boatwright, whose life is a mess. In her late 20s, she's called home to Boiling Waters, N.C., because of her father's death. When her unbalanced sister, Delia, shoots a woman, Gaylen decides to flee the law with her. Along the way, Gaylen and Delia deliver some unusual painted dresses their deceased aunt bequeathed to family friends and relatives, each dress symbolic of an incident in the past. These visits provide clues to the puzzle of Gaylen's life. With divorce papers in her pocket, she wonders about love, God, her sanity and the role of an incarcerated older brother in her nightmares. When the law catches up with Delia, Gaylen must determine whether her past will define her and what her future will hold. Hickman gamely unpacks the lies families tell each other, the cost of family secrets to ourselves and others, the bonds between sisters and the walls between husbands and wives. Her sparkling talent is evident in this engrossing story. (July) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.